The Marriage tent has room for all

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November 25, 2008


"The room got quiet for a few moments when I asked Trish and Kate Varnum of Cedar Rapids and others fighting a court battle to make same-sex marriages legal in Iowa whether they would accept a so-called compromise.

"If their elected representatives eventually offer them something less than marriage, perhaps some sort of civil unions that grant rights but not the use of the powerful M-word, could they live with it?

"'It's settling,' said Trish Varnum, breaking the silence. 'It's not what we want,' said her longtime partner Kate Varnum. Their voices were steady and filled with conviction.

"It's tough to sit face-to-face with these sensible, committed Iowans and not see it their way.

"I firmly believe it's fundamentally wrong and unjust to deny Trish and Kate the government-sanctioned ability to label their relationship as a real-live marriage. To me, this is such a no-brainer. Marriage is a powerful, important institution, and it's a big tent with more than enough room for gays and lesbians to join in. There's plenty of cake and mints and punch for everyone. Sure, I know there are lots of folks who disagree. I'll probably be hearing from some very soon. They're not likely to sway me."